Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Communication and the 6Cs: the patient experience … Author Christopher Barber for Nursing Times

One patient’s story highlights the importance of nurses and staff communicating effectively, and how poor communication can have a negative impact on patients.

In this article…

  • One patient’s experience of nursing care in a hospital setting
  • Examples of poor communication skills
  • What to be aware of when communicating with patients

5 talking points

1. How can communication affect the patient experience? 2. Can you think of a situation when better communication could have prevented a patient becoming frustrated, upset or receiving inappropriate care? 3. What should health professionals bear in mind when giving patients information about their condition or treatment? 4. How can you check whether patients have understood everything they have been told? 5. How can health professionals improve their communication skills?

Click on the link to read the article

Communication and the 6Cs The patient experience


Filed under: Hospital, ,

Nursing training places shortfall revealed in report “sneaked out” before Parliament’s Easter break

Thanks to the release of a Migration Advisory Committee report, it’s been uncovered that a tenth of the essential nursing training spots have been commissioned

A report which critics claim has been “sneaked out” on the day Parliament broke up for Easter revealed the Government has only commissioned a tenth of the nurse training places said to be needed. The Migration Advisory Committee report said that Health Education England had recommended an extra 3,000 places in 2016/17. But because of cuts which were made in the spending review, it said it had only commissioned 331 places.

Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders said: “This report, sneaked out on the last day before Easter, is further proof that the Tories are failing NHS nurses and failing patients .”

Last year it was revealed that the NHS had lost 1,200 senior nurses since Tories came to power – and fears were voiced that it could have serious impact on patient safety. Community matrons – who organise care outside hospital – dropped from 1,536 to 1,214. The total number of NHS matrons in England has fallen from 6,338 to 5,133. And, as the NHS tried to save £22billion, hospitals have slashed senior nursing posts or failed to replace those who are retiring.

The Mirror 23:01, 26 MAR 2016 By Keir Mudie


Filed under: Hospital, ,

“‘About me’ puts a person at the heart of patient-centred care” by Liz Charalambous for NursingTimes.Net

A brilliant article from a nurse taking the time to really care

I took handover at the start of my shift recently. I received detailed information about care plans, the patient’s vital signs, urine output, blood glucose, early warning scores, Braden scale, MUST (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool), falls and visual infusion phlebitis score were.

I was then presented with a form to sign for me to take responsibility and accountability for the patient. But there was no mention of the patient’s likes and dislikes, no details of a possible safeguarding issue, and no elaboration on her worries about the possibility of having her dog taken away as she may be unable to manage at home, and face residential home placement.

We are inundated with paperwork – of that there is no question. But the single most important piece of paperwork in my view as far as person-centred care is concerned, is the “about me” form. It is an ingenious document, cleverly crafted to ensure that the team are aware of a person’s preferences, likes and dislikes and their personal history while in hospital.

Click on the link to read more

About me puts a person at the heart of patient centred-care

Liz Charalambous is staff nurse, healthcare of the older person acute medicine, at Nottingham University Hospital’s Trust


Filed under: Elderly, NHS, , ,

Nurses call for post-reg specialist qualification in care of older people. By Nicola Merrifield, Nursing Times

“Neglected” care home nurses are failing to receive adequate preparation for the role and are unable to access the same career development opportunities as NHS nurses, according to a survey.

Around 70% of survey respondents said undergraduate pre-registration nurse education did not prepare the future workforce with the skills, knowledge, competencies and experience to deliver high quality care to older residents. This was despite the vast majority, 87%, of respondents – which included nurses, managers and community registrants working in care homes – reporting that a particular set of specialist competencies were required to do the job.

A post-registration specialist qualification for care of older people – including care home nursing – was suggested by many people taking part in the research project, which was carried out by academics at the University of York and funded by the Royal College of Nursing Foundation. Such a qualification would ensure the nursing care home workforce was “fit for purpose” and able to meet the increasingly complex care needs of residents, said the report on the study – called Supporting Nursing in Care Homes.

Click on the link below to read more

Nurses call for post reg specialist qualification in care of older people


Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, , ,

Getting nurses back on the ward

As staffing ‘crisis’ in NHS deepens Blackpool hospital reveals how it is aiming to get some old hands back in the wards

The boss of Blackpool Victoria Hospital today reassured nurses that action is being taken to improve working conditions as the health trust attempts to persuade those who have left the profession to return. Gary Doherty said Blackpool, like other hospital trusts, had faced challenges to recruit staff during a difficult winter. There is a national shortage of nurses. One leading Lancashire health boss told The Gazette the situation was so severe nurses were now being signed up by hospitals before they had completed their training in a bid to get in first on recruits.

Health chiefs in North Wales have recently announced they are recruiting more than 70 Spanish nurses, amid a staffing crisis gripping the country’s health system.

Click on the link to read more


Karen Smith who works on the ITU Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

NICE outlines draft guidance for safe nurse staffing in A&E – Press Release

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued a draft guideline to advise NHS A&E departments on how to ensure there are safe levels of nursing staff.

The number of people attending A&E departments has increased steadily since 2002/03². The guidance will help hospitals to plan safe staffing for nursing and best meet demand for their A&E services.

Click on the link to read



Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Mental health sector hit by dramatic reduction in nurse posts

More than 3,600 nursing jobs have gone in the past two years, with trusts suffering a 2.3 real terms funding cut, a major investigation into the state of the NHS mental health sector has revealed.
The analysis, based on freedom of information requests to the 57 mental health trust in England, found many had slashed beds and staffing levels – despite record demand for services and government pledges to ensure mental health was given the same priority as other sectors.
Data supplied by 52 trusts revealed an average reduction in nursing staff of 6% from 2011-12 to 2013-14, with six trusts reporting reductions of more than 10% (see table below). This represents and overall drop of about 3,642 whole-time equivalent nursing posts.
The findings have fuelled concern mental health services have been seen as an “easy target” by managers struggling to cut costs and implement new rules on safe staffing in the acute sector.
However, mental health trusts said the drop was also down to efforts to move more care into the community and the creation of new types of services employing a wider range of professionals.

Click on the link to read more
Mental health sector hit by dramatic reduction in nurse posts


Filed under: Mental Health, Uncategorized, , ,

Safe nurse staffing levels could cost £414m, says NICE

Ensuring safe nursing staff levels on adult hospital wards will cost the NHS up to £414m, according to an official estimate by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. But some leading nurses say the true cost will be at least double that.
The impact assessment estimated the cost of implementing the NICE staffing guidance for adult acute wards, which was published earlier this month, could be anything from £0 to £414m.
The guidance said less than two registered nurses on a ward at any time was a patient safety “red flag” that required action, and acknowledged a ratio of more than eight patients to one registered nurse could increase the risk of a red flag occurring.
Last week NICE followed up the guidance by publishing a separate analysis on its predicted financial impact. NICE said a realistic mid-point when it came to the cost would be around £207m – a 5% increase on current planned staffing levels.
However, it said the extra costs of safe staffing were likely to be offset by savings from fewer pressure ulcers and healthcare-acquired infections, shorter stays in hospital due to more effective care and reduced risk of being sued because of poor care.

Click on the link to read more from Nursing Times.Net
Safe nurse staffing levels could cost

Click on the link to read the full five-page NICE resource impact commentary


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

NHS staffing guidelines: it would be a mistake to set minimum levels

Adequate staffing levels, although necessary, are not enough to guarantee safe and high quality care
In the wake of the Francis inquiry and Berwick review, Nice’s new safe staffing guidelines, for which I produced the statistical and economic analysis, may have caused surprise by stopping short of setting minimum staffing levels. Yet doing so would have been a mistake. It would have led to repeated mistakes across management of health services, abdicating responsibility for the correct completion of checklists and targets, while failing to acknowledge human experience.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Analysed: Government plans for nursing education

8 May, 2014 | By Jo Stephenson Nursing Times.Net

The government has revealed its ambitions for nursing and healthcare education. Jo Stephenson has looked over the details and analysed what they will mean for the profession.
All nursing students will learn about dementia and once qualified can go on to do a new qualification in caring for older people, as part of the government’s plans for the healthcare workforce.
The plans also highlight the need for more focus on developing community nurse capacity, and opportunities for healthcare assistants to enter nursing and midwifery.
The measures are included in a mandate document setting out the government’s priorities for the body Health Education England from now up to March 2015.

Click on the link to read more

Analysed Government plans for nursing education


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Blog views to date

  • 113,319 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Last Six Months and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,421 other followers

Recent Posts